OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Agriculture is seeking experts to train farmers on best practices when applying manure to farmland, part of an effort funded by the Legislature to help the agriculture industry manage manure in a way that protects ground and surface water.
The agency’s Dairy Nutrient Management Program is accepting applications for grants to develop and carry out farmer education projects focused on this effort.
The curriculum in the proposed projects must include ways farmers can make good decisions about when, where and how to apply manure in a manner that both helps crops grow, but also protects water sources. In addition, the proposed training and outreach projects should help land applicators comply with state and federal water quality laws.
Project proposals are being accepted through Nov. 1. For more information visit http://agr.wa.gov.
Funds for the grants come from a proviso included in the state budget approved for the 2015-2017 fiscal period. Lawmakers included $575,000 from the state toxics control account for farmer training, as well as other activities, to improve manure management and protect water quality.
With the additional funding, state’s ag department plans also include increased dairy inspections in watershed areas and hiring two temporary employees based in Yakima and Lynden to work with local farmers and conduct inspections.